Abstract

An evaluation of the suitability of eight existing phase unwrapping algorithms to be used in a real-time optical body surface sensor based on Fourier fringe profilometry is presented. The algorithms are assessed on both the robustness of the results they give and their speed of execution. The algorithms are evaluated using four sets of real human body surface data, each containing five-hundred frames, obtained from patients undergoing radiotherapy, where fringe discontinuity is significant. We also present modifications to an existing algorithm, noncontinuous quality-guided path algorithm (NCQUAL), in order to decrease its execution time by a factor of 4 to make it suitable for use in a real-time system. The results obtained from the modified algorithm are compared with those of the existing algorithms. Three suitable algorithms were identified: two-stage noncontinuous quality-guided path algorithm (TSNCQUAL)—the modified algorithm presented here—for online processing and Flynn’s minimum discontinuity algorithm (FLYNN) and preconditioned conjugate gradient method (PCG) algorithms for enhanced accuracy in off-line processing.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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